Review: A Lonely Crowd’s ‘Transients’

A Lonely Crowd

Transients, the sophomore effort of Melbourne prog-rockers A Lonely Crowd, is an incredibly high acheivement of an album, especially in terms of musical talent. It has flaws, particularly in the mixing and post-production, but it’s a good, slightly gothy prog album.

In order to end the review on a high note, let’s discuss the flaws of Transients first, just to get them out of the way. As said, the flaws aren’t really to with the music at all, they’re more to do with the decisions made in post-production, or possibly just to do with the way A Lonely Crowd operates.

For some reason, someone made the decision to mix lead singer Xen Havales ethereal, super-soprano vocals down so much that they often fade into the background in favour of the (admittedly very skillful) guitar lines. There’s probably a very good reason behind this decision, and on some tracks (‘Kamikazi Karma’) it sets an interesting mood and allows Havales to perform some really insane vocal acrobatics. For the most part though, it feels like a let down. Havales has such a strong, bizarre voice that it seems a shame to downplay it as much as A Lonely Crowd does on Transients.

Other than that though, it’s a very good, very weird album. Transients sounds like an alternate universe version of Evanesence (in which they’re actually good and got rid of that weird guy who ruined everything by rapping, replacing him instead with a killer guitar player and screams that could break glass).

Transients‘ lead single ‘The Fall’ is an especially enjoyable track. Havales’ voice bounces around like a super ball, and the heavy guitars and bass beat behind her vocals grounds the song without detracting anything from the gothy weirdness going on in the foreground. It seems like it would be an especially fun song to see played live.

On Transients, A Lonely Crowd has produced a vaguely experimental, darkly bizarre prog-rock album that, while not exactly face-blistering, shows a huge amount of promise. Transients is in stores now.

Ruby-Rose Niemann

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